This afternoon I attended a memorial service for a former student of mine. I had attended services of parents of students, but never a student. My heart is heavy as I grieve for this sweet, charismatic, friendly, and always smiling seventh-grader. I often go back and forth in regards to my teaching career: do I want to go back to teaching? Do I want to stay in elementary or pursue a licensure in special education? Do I want to go down a completely different career path altogether? I still don't know the answers to these questions, but what I do know is that I was blessed by so many children in just three years of teaching. I hope that, in my own way, I added something positive to each one of their lives as well.
Right now I'm focusing on my boys and being the best mother I can be. When a tragedy occurs it is natural to hug your loved ones a little tighter, give more kisses and say more "I love yous." That is what I'm doing, and I'm extremely thankful for this time I have with my children.
I want to use this opportunity to discuss something deeply personal. On this little space, I often showcase my crafts, the positive aspects of my life, and the special moments I have with my family. I do not, however, want to paint the picture that my life is perfect. I was diagnosed with post-partum depression a couple of months ago. It was difficult for me to admit that I needed help, and I constantly felt like a terrible mother. When I ran into someone at the grocery store who said, "I bet you're a wonderful mother," I walked away feeling guilty and inadequate. I would read other crafting blogs and wonder how these other mothers seemed to have countless hours of crafting time, take beautiful pictures, homeschooled, etc. all while having more children than just my two. Something I once enjoyed doing (browsing crafting blogs) became a constant reminder of how I never seemed to measure up to my internal concept of the Perfect Mother.
After some urging from my own mother, I did end up seeking help and am on an antidepressant. My husband and I also both try to set time aside so that I can have time to create. Having a hobby like knitting has been very therapeutic for me. In her article in the summer issue of Living Crafts magazine Sonia Choquette wrote: "...a personal teacher of mine once suggested that the root of depression is that a person's creativity is blocked or shut down in some way so they are not doing what the soul needs most to do, which is to create."
I am not writing this for people to feel sorry for me. My hope is that someone may come across this post, read it, and understand that no one person, and no family, is perfect; it's healthy to seek professional help; it's important to find a creative outlet and somehow make time to create.